The new year is always seen as a time to make positive changes, both personally and professionally. Many lawyers find themselves looking back at the previous year’s growth and trying to figure out how to do even better in the coming year. If you’re one of them and looking to make the most out of 2020 and grow your law firm, we’ve got the tips you need to take your practice to the next level.
Resolution #1: Automate as much as possible
Get away from the administrative tasks that take up so much of your time by automating as many of them as possible. You’d be surprised by how many items on your task list can be handled by technology, cutting down the time you spend on them from hours to minutes.
Here are some key items you should focus on automating this year:
- Document assembly: automatically add in key matter data to your most used documents
- Batch billing and invoicing: compile and send invoices all at once with the click of a button
- Bank feeds and daily reconciliations: automatically port in bank feed data and run daily reconciliations to catch errors as they happen
- Collections: set up automatic reminders for past due invoices
- Retainers: create evergreen retainers with automatic notices to clients about low balances
There are practice management programs that come with these capabilities built-in. You may even have them already and not even realize, so start taking advantage of these tools. Pick one a month and start saving time!
Resolution #2: Go mobile
Clients are asking more and more of lawyers, and the expectations of availability have shifted over the years. Today’s clients expect their lawyers to be able to access email, relevant files and handle tasks no matter where they are. With the use of a cloud-based practice management system, you can easily handle all those tasks and more no matter where you are.
No more calling up your paralegal to look up something for you. No more waiting until you’re back in the office to double-check on a file. No more forgetting to enter time.
With the ability to access email, files, and matter management from anywhere with an internet connection, your firm will be ready to take on any case 2020 brings.
Resolution #3: Integrate billing and accounting
Separate billing and accounting programs cost firms, both in time and the ability to stay compliant. Having two different programs means data needs to be entered twice, taking up unnecessary time and also leaving the door open to errors. Not to mention the time needed to go back later and try to figure out where the mistake happened once unequal balances are noticed.
Integrate your billing and accounting so you only have to enter the information once. Tied in with your practice management program, this creates the ultimate trifecta of firm efficiency.
Resolutions that get results
Don’t get overwhelmed looking at all the ways you can improve your firm in 2020. Instead, prioritize what will have the biggest impact and set timelines and goals to put them in place. You won’t be able to implement everything at once, but by the end of the year, you’ll be able to look back and see just how much your firm has grown.